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Writing Books/genre fiction?


One agency says it doesn't want "genre fiction" On the website of recent books, and series, however, they have private investigator novels. Isn't this a genre? Or mystery that is genre? What's the difference between this and the literary fiction they want?


Yes, mystery is definitely a genre, and private investigator stories would be a subcategory of this genre.  I can only assume that this agency must have a standing relationship with the author(s) of those books, but is not looking to broaden that particular path.

As for "literary fiction," that's not the easiest term to define.  You could say that literary fiction focuses more on characterization and style than it does on plot.  Of course, as with everything, there's a lot of fuzzy area.  Some "genre" fiction is what I would consider literary, and some literary fiction almost seems to be a genre unto itself... and would be, if there were more cohesion there.

Either way, if you write genre fiction, definitely pass this agency by.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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